Can I Give My Baby Expressed Milk?

You are an amazing mother! You have breastfed your baby since birth and have no intention of stopping yet. However, maternity leave is almost done, so what are you supposed to do?

Relax, and do not stress. Your baby can remain on breast milk. We know that breast milk is the best for a baby due to all the health benefits it provides. It is something that means a lot to you.

Maybe you are lucky, and your employer has a built-in daycare, you can arrange your breaks to coincide with the baby’s feeding times.

Not so lucky are those mothers who feel the same way about breastfeeding but do not have the option of a daycare right at work.

Many people do not have long enough breaks that allow them to drive to daycare and be able to breastfeed when it is time.

What can these mothers do? There are options for you to be able to continue giving your baby breast milk and still work to earn the money you need.

Unlatched

Some babies are not able to latch on to the nipple. This may take practice and some extra help.

You will know while you are still in the hospital after giving birth if the baby can latch on. The hospital will likely have a nurse or lactation counselor available for you to speak with and get advice.

Sometimes all it takes is a little persuasion and maneuvering for the baby to grasp on.

Start the pump

When the baby is not able to latch on, mom does not need to give up. This is very common at first. You still want to get the milk flow started. The baby may not be able to do his part yet, but you can start to express the milk, which will help to increase the flow.

Special nipple caps

Sometimes when the baby is unable to latch on, there are nipple shields that can be used to cover mom’s nipple.

These special covers are formed the way nipples are and give the baby the feeling of mom’s nipple. Do not feel stressed over this mom. Many women do not have the nipples that help a baby latch on.

The companies that develop these nipple caps understood this predicament for new mothers and found a way to help them breastfeed.

Dad’s turn

What about when dad wants to build that bond with the baby? Much of the time, it is only mom able to do the feeding, let’s get dad in on the action. Expressing milk into bottles or bags to be used for some feedings is not a bad thing. The baby is still receiving breast milk but is also having special moments with dad.

Too much of a good thing

You may find that you are one of the lucky ones who can produce more than enough milk for breastfeeding. Maybe the baby is not able to empty your breast. To prevent your breasts from being engorged, expressing some milk is a necessity.

Freeze right there

For those times, when you need to express to end breast pain, there are bags to store milk in and then freeze it. Label the bag with the date it was expressed and place in your freezer.

As you add more, be sure to use the oldest first. This is the first in, first-out method. Breast milk can be stored frozen for up to one year. Keep in mind six months is best, but longer is okay.

Cool off

Many parents will store expressed breast milk in the refrigerator. Fresh breast milk can sit in the refrigerator for no more than four days.

For the breast milk that had been frozen and then placed in the refrigerator to thaw, once thawed, it must be used within 24 hours.

The family

Not only does dad want to be part of feeding the baby, but siblings, grandparents, and other family members would also like to share in the joys too.

Maybe it is to give mom and dad a much-needed break, or for mom to have some time for herself, either way, there are times when you will need to have bottles for your baby.

Duty calls

The time will surely arrive when you need to return to work. The daycare you have chosen, or family member, will need to have breast milk on hand to feed the baby.

Even when breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding, please understand that there will be times that there is no choice. The baby still needs to have his milk.

Prepare yourself

Even after the baby can latch on and breastfeed, it would not hurt terribly to allow yourself to feed the baby by bottle once a day. It is not recommended to do this until the baby has mastered breastfeeding.

Please, mom, do not think that you are a terrible mom for giving the baby a bottle once a day. Besides, knowing how many people want to hold, cuddle, and spend time with the baby, it is sometimes easier to let them give one feeding a day.

You also understand that dad is not able to breastfeed, so he has no choice. He either misses out on that bonding time or can feed the baby still. None of this is to say that you should not breastfeed because others can’t hold the baby and feed him.

Breastfeeding is best, but there is also work appointments or other reasons that mom may not be able to breastfeed all the time. Expressing breast milk to freeze not only ensures that there is breast milk for the baby, but it also prevents mom from being in severe pain from engorgement.

By doing this, you can still exclusively breastfeed when you are home after work or appointments. Expressing breast milk has become beneficial to many new moms and dads.